Status: 16.05.2024 11:25 a.m.

If you are overweight, counting calories alone is not enough. If you want to lose weight, you have to bring structure to your meals and change your diet permanently: eat more of the right things and less of the wrong things.

Losing weight permanently only works with a change in diet – preferably in small steps. A change is not a diet, but a permanent change in routines and habits. What you eat, When you eat and Why you eat. The last point is often crucial for the success of the project, because food does not only satisfy hunger. It satisfies emotional needs. Eating mindfully is therefore part of the success.

Permanently reduce sugar in obesity

The way we deal with sweets and sugar in ready meals also plays a key role. Humans are programmed to crave sweets. Many people find it difficult to give up sugar overnight. Sugar substitutes such as xylitol or stevia are not a long-term solution because they keep the craving for sweets going and are suspected of negatively affecting the intestinal flora. Retraining your taste buds, on the other hand, is a promising long-term solution. And it’s not that difficult.

Cook fresh and avoid ready-made products

The “weaning off” method is usually the best way to start quitting sugar: it involves slowly getting your tongue used to sugar by reducing the amount of sweetness step by step. Industrially produced products – from fruit yoghurt to herring salad, from ketchup to salad dressing – are usually oversweetened with sugar (substitutes) or sweeteners. The weaning off method starts by diluting ready-made products with natural products. For example, natural yoghurt is added to fruit yoghurt (or a purchased yoghurt dressing) – first one tablespoon, then two, and so on. If you are making dessert or cake, reduce the amount of sugar specified in the recipe step by step: most cake and dessert recipes work just fine with half the amount of sugar.

Some people prefer the radical method: clean out the pantry and start a new diet from one day to the next. What works for whom depends on the individual. The goal is always to get the tongue used to natural flavors again and to banish ready-made and convenience products from the kitchen on a large scale. Because if you cook fresh, for example according to our slim recipes, you save unnecessary calories and, with the right tips, unnecessary effort. A good start to changing your diet can be Rice days: days with three rice meals. They support weight loss and sensitize the taste buds. Oat days work in a similar way.

Further information

Nutrition doctor Dr. Silja Schäfer © NDR Photo: Moritz Schwarz

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To lose weight, eat only a few meals – but they fill you up

Nutritional therapy for obesity primarily means:

  • Eating only at main meals (i.e. only two or three times a day)
  • Switch to calorie-free drinks (water, tea, black coffee)
  • No more snacking (this also applies to calorie-containing drinks: no milk coffee, juice etc. in between) – rather use a method of Implement intermittent fasting.

Instead, eat the right things that also fill you up (see table below):

  • more vegetables (filling due to their volume alone and contain fiber for a healthy gut)
  • good oils (Olive oil protects the blood vessels, linseed oil provides anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids)
  • high-quality protein sources (eggs, fish, lean poultry, dairy products, but also legumes and mushrooms ensure long-lasting satiety).

What to eat for obesity: foods and recipes

The right diet to lose weight: Here you will find suitable recipes and food lists (also for download).

Further information

Fish pan with spring vegetables in a roasting pan on the table. © NDR Photo: Claudia Timmann

Filling without many carbohydrates: recommended dishes for people who are very overweight/obese. more

2 palm-sized portions/day

  • Recommended (in moderation): Wholemeal bread: wholemeal cereal products; pseudo-cereals such as amaranth, quinoa; oat flakes, muesli without sugar; wholemeal pasta, wholemeal rice, jacket potatoes
  • Not recommended: White bread, toast, rusks, croissants, milk rolls; white flour products; peeled rice, French fries, croquettes, mashed potatoes, potato pancakes; fast food, convenience products and instant mixes

Further information

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This topic in the program:

The Nutrition Docs | 11.03.2024 | 9:00 p.m.

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